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The Tramp and the Dictator

The TCM original documentary The Tramp and the Dictator (2002), co-directed by Kevin Brownlow and Michael Kloft and narrated by Kenneth Branagh, compares the parallel lives of Charlie Chaplin and Adolf Hilter. Born within four days of each other in April 1889, Chaplin and Hitler became, respectively, the most-loved and most-hated men of their time. The two lives intersected when Chaplin made The Great Dictator (1940), a satire of Hitler and his Nazi empire. "Here was this huge artist standing up against this gargantuan monster," film critic Stanley Kauffmann says in the documentary.

Among others interviewed are Chaplin' s son, Sydney Chaplin; politician/historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.; film directors Bernard Vorhaus and Sidney Lumet; and caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, who served as publicity artist for The Great Dictator. The documentary includes never-before-seen color film shot by Chaplin's brother, Sydney, during the making of The Great Dictator and recently discovered at the Chaplin villa in Switzerland.

Producer: Thorsten Pollfuss
Director: Kevin Brownlow, Michael Kloft
Screenplay: Kevin Brownlow, Christopher Bird
Music: Timothy Brock
Film Editing: Christopher Bird
Narration: Kenneth Branagh
BW/C-55m. Closed Captioning.

by Roger Fristoe



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